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magazine WINTER/SPRING 2016



New Cybersecurity Degree Introduced P. 6

president's letter

The geese are back, swimming in the pond, which officially affirms that spring has arrived at Hilbert College! Over the last year, the campus has been deeply engaged in preparing our self-study for the decennial Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation visit. The process has been very constructive in validating the positive impact Hilbert is having on our students as well as identifying opportunities to enhance the quality of their experiences going forward. The Hilbert faculty and staff have worked very hard on the advance preparation for the April 3-6 Middle States team visit. Special thanks to Provost Christopher Holoman and Dr. Don Vincent, who is profiled in an article in this edition of the Hilbert Magazine, for co-authoring the self-study. We look forward to sharing the results of this important process in the next edition of the Hilbert Magazine this fall. The Magazine also describes the generous financial support we received from three Western New York foundations. If you are a graduate of the psychology program, please stop by and visit the newly renovated research lab. Thanks to the Cummings and Garman Family Foundations, the furnishings and digital equipment has been upgraded to enable our students to conduct scholarly research projects. We are also excited about the grant we received from the Tower Foundation that is enabling faculty to explore the creation of a special program dedicated to serving students who are high functioning on the autism spectrum. Our goal is to begin the program in fall 2017. A new dimension to our over twenty-year partnership with St. Bonaventure University will launch this fall with the implementation of a joint cybersecurity degree. The concept for this program emerged from a Hilbert-SBU faculty work group and has been approved by the New York State Education Department. It is the first joint cyber program in the country, and we are very encouraged by the number of applications for admission. We ask that you keep the President of St. Bonaventure, Sister Margaret Carney, O.F.S., a very good friend and supporter of Hilbert College, in your thoughts and prayers. In February, several days after announcing her retirement, she was diagnosed with cancer. She has started drug therapy for multiple myeloma and expects to remain in her position as president through July. I, along with many members of the Hilbert family, am privileged to share a special friendship with Sister Margaret and I know you join with us in extending our best wishes for her full recovery. Hilbert is a special place that makes a difference in the lives of our students on a daily basis. Our college’s future remains bright, and I am optimistic about the work ahead. Thank you for supporting Hilbert College and helping us carry out our Catholic Franciscan mission. Please come and visit us soon. We guarantee we will have goslings swimming in the pond by Commencement weekend, May 14!


A publication for alumni, family, and friends of Hilbert College

FOUNDED 1957 5200 South Park Avenue Hamburg, NY 14075 Phone: 716.649.7900 Fax: 716.558.6381



New joint cybersecurity degree now enrolling for Fall 2016.


Cynthia A. Zane, Ed.D. President



table of contents

4 On Campus Children's Easter Party


Hardick Joins IA Staff


Tower, Garman and Cummings Grants


6 Cybersecurity 8 Service Trip to the Dominican pg 6

High Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

13 Faculty Profile

14 Alumni “As a Franciscan institution, our focus on ethics is built into the core curriculum. Our new cybersecurity program will build on this solid ethical foundation,” —Alan Katerinsky, assistant professor in Hilbert College’s Computer Security and Information Assurance program and new Cybersecurity program


Alumni Association


Alumni News and Notes


Young Alums - Why Give Back?


Master's Profile


BPO Photo Gallery


20 Athletics MBB - Regular Season Champs


WBB Ties Wins Record


Three Named All-AMCC


22 Franciscan Footprints

Ian Gattie, Matt Gorczyca, Gayle Hardick, Patrick Quinn, and Kelly Smith HILBERT COLLEGE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL: Cynthia Zane, Ed.D, Christopher Holoman, Ph.D, Michael Murrin, Rick Pinkowski, Patrick Quinn, Kelly Smith, Denise Harris, and Jim Sturm

hilbert college magazine 2016


on campus

2016 Children’s Easter Party



on campus

Tower, Garman and Cummings Foundations Support Hilbert Programs The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, the Garman Family Foundation, and the James H. Cummings Foundation recently awarded Hilbert College nearly $71,000 in grants to support a Post-secondary Autistic Spectrum Support Program, an update of the Psychology Research Laboratory and the Hilbert Opportunity Scholars Program.

Pathway to Give Back

Are you an alum? Want to get involved and give back? Contact Gayle to learn more | 716-926-8938

Hilbert College received a $51,504 grant from the Garman Foundation. The grant will support the Hilbert Opportunity Scholars Program with $25,000 in funding. The Hilbert Opportunity Scholars Program provides support low to middle income and first-generation students. The Garman grant will also support updating the Psychology Research Laboratory with $26,504 earmarked for the project. The laboratory helps students create and execute their own original research projects. Updates for the laboratory include a new closed circuit television system with DVR storage, software for video editing and administration of psychological experiments and other equipment like camcorders, printers and tablet devices. The Cummings grant of $6,000 is allocated for the closed circuit television system. Through the Tower Foundation, Hilbert College was awarded $13,000 to support the development of the Post-secondary Autistic Spectrum Support Program, which aims to aid students who are high-functioning on the Autism Spectrum. The program will help those students foster the social skills needed to succeed in an academic environment as well as help them seek quality employment during and after graduation. In addition, the program will train faculty and staff to better understand and help students that have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. About the Garman Family Foundation The Garman Family Foundation is committed to supporting activities within Western New York that promote the welfare of human and natural resources. It encourages endeavors that strengthen families and communities and advance individuals to become productive and responsible citizens. About the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation supports community programming that results in children, adolescents, and young adults affected by substance abuse, learning disabilities, mental illness, and intellectual disabilities achieving their full potential. The Foundation is dedicated to societal impact through healthy communities and capacity building. We work diligently to foster a sense of empowerment and an environment of collaboration. About the James H. Cummings Foundation The James H. Cummings Foundation was established to support the philanthropic vision of its namesake. Throughout its 52-year history, the Foundation has aided countless organizations engaged in advancing charitable interests according to the guidelines and policies espoused by Mr. Cummings.

Pathway to Give Back

Hardick Named Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Gayle Hardick was named Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving at Hilbert College. “Gayle brings significant expertise in fundraising, strategic planning, and community relations to Hilbert,” stated Kelly Smith, Hilbert’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “Her broad knowledge and personable demeanor will provide a great foundation upon which to build new engagement and advancement initiatives at Hilbert.” Hardick has an extensive and varied background, including running her own business in the Village of Hamburg, which she recently sold. Hardick served for over nine years as the Executive Director of YMCA Buffalo Niagara – Southtowns Branch. She generated exponential growth of the Southtowns Branch which allowed the association to build the new facility located on Southwestern Boulevard in Orchard Park. She was also heavily involved in recruiting and training staff, as well as generating annual support through corporate sponsors and donations. She was recognized as YMCA Director of the Year in 1996. Hardick is heavily involved in the community, including memberships to the Chambers of Commerce in Hamburg, East Aurora, and Orchard Park. She is also actively involved with the Town of Hamburg Recreation and Senior Center, was a founding member for Christmas in the Village (Hamburg), and sits on the Board of Directors for Hamburg Oktoberfest and the Hamburg Seaway Trail. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to represent Hilbert College,” Hardick said. “I am truly inspired by Hilbert’s mission and vision. I look forward to connecting with Hilbert’s alumni and friends who share similar values.” Hardick and her husband, Bill, reside in Orchard Park, NY. They have two daughters, Cassandra and Julia, and a son, Shane.

Learn more about grants at Hilbert. Contact Kelly for more information. | 716-926-8960




C Y B E R S EC U R I T Y New & Innovative Program Boasts High Demand

The nation’s second-leading big-box chain. A Hollywood film studio. A health insurance giant. Three businesses with almost nothing in common except for the one thing today that almost every business has — computerized customer databases, the pot of gold at the end of every hacker’s rainbow. The data breaches at Target (2013), Sony Pictures Entertainment (2014), and Anthem (2015) are among the most high profile corporate hacks of the last few years. But if they represent the tip of the iceberg, then the surface of the water has barely been broken. Symantec’s analysis of security threats in 2014 revealed that thieves are working faster than companies can defend themselves, and launching more malicious attacks than in previous years. More than 317 million new pieces of malware — computer viruses or other malicious software — were created last year. Spend two minutes on the “live attacks” map at and you’ll quickly realize the magnitude of the problem. “The Target story scared everybody in ways we didn’t imagine,” said Jim Meyer, CEO of SiriusXM. “The Target hack didn’t come through the traditional foreign hackers. The invasion came through the back door of a supplier who was managing the energy management systems for the stores, a way that no one expected. And the breach was massive.”



Credit card information was stolen from more than 40 million Target shoppers. A cyber attack at Home Depot in September 2014 trumped that: 56 million customers were violated. The attacks sent shivers down the spines of CEOs everywhere, Meyer said. “When you’re scared, the elasticity of how you’ll spend money (to protect yourself) changes quite a bit,” said Meyer, an executive at SiriusXM since 2004. “There isn’t a boardroom in this country where, if they have six meetings a year, cybersecurity isn’t a topic of conversation at two or three of them at least.”

“Demand for skilled talent is intense and does not show signs of slowing down.” What executives often talk about is the shortage of experts in the field. The demand for the cybersecurity workforce is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million, said Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the world’s largest security software vendor. That realization ignited a conversation last year among Hilbert College administrators and faculty leaders: Did it make sense

for the college to create a new major in cybersecurity? Following dialogue and investigation with faculty and administrative colleagues at St. Bonaventure University, the answer was a collaborative and resounding “yes.” Beginning in the fall of 2016, Hilbert College and St. Bonaventure University will join forces to offer bachelor’s programs in cybersecurity. This collaboration represents an extension of the schools’ partnership that has been in place for more than 20 years. St. Bonaventure offers weekend graduate programs on Hilbert’s campus. The two institutions will share faculty resources to offer the programs, taking advantage of St. Bonaventure’s expertise in its Department of Computer Science and Hilbert’s strength in its Department of Computer Security and Information Assurance. No travel between campuses will be necessary; shared courses will be offered via distance-learning technology. The programs feature the technical and managerial sides of the field, which will give graduates more professional options. Those options, in both sectors of the cybersecurity field, will be plentiful and profitable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that until 2022, information security analyst positions will grow at a rate of 37 percent, and U.S. News & World Report ranked “information security analyst” third among the best technology jobs, eighth

high-demand major among the top 100 professions and 15th among the highest-paying jobs. “There are more positions available in most instances than there are qualified applicants,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half, a global staffing firm specializing in accounting and finance, technology, legal, creative and administrative placement.

Pathway to Give Back Your gift to Hilbert can be designated to aid in new program development. Contact Gayle to learn more | 716-926-8938

“Demand for skilled talent is intense and does not show signs of slowing down.” With every high-profile hack, corporate executives, military leaders and government officials intensify their efforts to protect their databases. “That’s what I hear when I’m out delivering speeches and talking to people,” said McDonald. “Nothing is sacred, nothing is safe, and you never know where an attack is going to come from, whether internally or externally, within the U.S. or internationally. Anything you put on the computer is open to potential hacking.” The most likely way for individuals to be violated in cyberspace is through attacks on corporations entrusted to protect databases often with millions of customers’ names. Eric Wischman is vice president for the Risk Governance and Administration Office at M&T Bank, the largest bank in Western New York and 17th-largest in the nation. But he doesn’t believe financial institutions are at any greater risk of cyber attacks than other companies. “M&T takes very seriously the security needs of all of our customers, but plenty of other places are more likely to be attacked because they might be a little less prepared than a bank is,” Wischman said. “Cybersecurity is critical for all industries because customer data is everywhere.” As recently as five years ago, cybersecurity was “more of an annoyance,” Meyer admitted, but the scope of the Target and Home Depot hacks scared executives straight. “It went from an annoyance to ‘Oh my gosh!’’’ Meyer said. “Sirius has 29 million subscribers. We have another 10 to 12 million trial users constantly because they bought either a new or used car in which our service is available. “The vast majority want to pay by credit

card, and the vast majority want to deal with us via an online process. So we don’t have a choice — 100% of them expect their transactions to be secure and totally protected.” How significantly has SiriusXM’s IT staff increased over the last five years? “The right word is a lot,” Meyer said with a laugh. “And it’s not just our own staff. I think we have no less than three outside consultants helping us every day with this process, including one of them who is simply hired to see what they can do to us.” In other words, companies are hiring consultants whose sole mission is to hack into their databases to see how vulnerable they are. In fact, learning how to hack into computer systems will be part of the curriculum in the new program. “I work in enterprise risk management, and one of the main focuses has become cybersecurity,” said Jill Martucci, a 2012 Hilbert graduate who earned her degree in computer security and information assurance. “There is currently a huge gap in the number of jobs available in this field compared to the number of qualified applicants to fill them. I’m happy to hear that Hilbert is going to be a part of closing that gap.” “This new program will really compliment the bread and butter of Hilbert College and that is our Criminal Justice program,” says Dr. Walter Iwanenko, Dean of Graduate Studies at Hilbert College. “There’s not an industry out there that doesn’t have cybersecurity concerns.”

and Information Assurance and it’s new cybersecurity program. “This is a structural issue and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. The need for skilled cybersecurity professionals should continue to increase for a while.” “Everyone is at risk,” McDonald said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a risk management issue like cybersecurity in my 35 years in the workplace. Everyone uses technology. Every organization of every size.” And almost every person, too. “Connectivity is the way I speak to my loved ones, the way I speak with my business, the way I transact my life,” Meyer said. “At its fundamental core, we have built a very sophisticated infrastructure in this world that is fully connected, and that’s where the weakness is. That’s what makes us all so vulnerable and why a program in cybersecurity is such a great opportunity.”

Reporting for this story was provided by Tom Missel, director of marketing and media relations at St. Bonaventure University, and Matthew Gorczyca, communications and engagement coordinator at Hilbert College. Paul McDonald, Jim Meyer, and Eric Wischman are alumni of SBU and Meyer and McDonald also serve on the University’s Board of Trustees.

“As a Franciscan institution, our focus on ethics is built into the core curriculum. Our new cybersecurity program will build on this solid ethical foundation,” explains Alan Katerinsky, assistant professor in Hilbert College’s Computer Security

hilbert college magazine 2016


hilbert students travel to dominican republic

sharing success Service Learning in the Dominican Republic by Matthew Gorczyca

Professor Dan Roland knows that not all learning happens inside the classroom. Understanding other cultures, learning the value of hard work, appreciating the joys of service – these are lessons that can’t be taught. They must be experienced. That’s why, for the past several years, Professor Roland has taken a group of students on a service learning trip to the Dominican Republic to facilitate non-traditional learning. GS 300: Service Learning Abroad – Dominican Republic proved to be a transformational trip for the students. The students created a massive economic impact through capital projects, learning workshops and fundraisers. They were generous with their knowledge and hard work, and passionate about the outcomes. They changed the lives of the people of Bani, DR. But they also changed their own lives. For Emilee Villafranca '18 the trip was a great way to expand her horizons. Her service project, called “Lollipops for Learners and Life,” taught fifth and sixth grade students about basic concepts of business and marketing. Students took these lessons and used them to sell 450 donated lollipops as a fundraiser for their school.



The project helped reinforce the concepts Emilee has been studying here at Hilbert as a business major, however, she also learned lessons that were different than what she expected. “GS 300 grew my appreciation for giving back because there are people in the world that just don’t have the resources necessary to be successful, and they need help,” Emilee said. “What is success if you can’t share it?” “I find it is important to give back because college students in the U.S. have nothing to lose by doing so. Not only that, we have so much to offer other people. With education at our fingertips and the world ahead of us,

we can empower so many individuals.” Sophomore Emily Pawelski also experienced personal enlightenment. Though the trip was outside of her comfort zone, it was an experience she’ll never forget. “Trips like this one encourage students to become more engaged and active in their communities,” Emily said. “I think that’s what Hilbert is all about.” Emily’s service project helped plant a community garden to benefit a nutrition center in Bani. The garden will help feed 177 malnourished children - 177 children who now have an opportunity to grow up healthier and stronger because of the garden.

Melody Cole '16 was inspired by the generosity and hospitality of the people of Bani despite their hardships. “We would eat meals in the nutrition center, and they would always put a table cloth down where the food was set,” Melody recalls. “We would be covered in paint and sweat – by no means needing a table cloth – but it was always there to show appreciation for the work we did.” In addition to Prof. Roland, Melody, Emilee and Emily, the trip included five additional Hilbert College students and a Hilbert alumnus. Jonathan Clark '10 has been making the trip each year since he was a student at Hilbert. In fact, this marked his eighth time traveling abroad with Hilbert. “It’s a two-way street really. As students, we learn from a different culture and grow as persons. On the other side, we are teaching some great things that will change lives,” Jonathan said. “When I was a student, it made me believe I could do anything I put my mind to.” The service trip holds a special place in Jonathan’s heart, and not just because of the memories as a student and alumnus.

This is where Jonathan proposed to his wife, Lindsay. “It also became something my wife also enjoys, as she just finished her sixth service trip.” The trip to Bani has become a staple for the Hilbert College community – one that Prof. Roland has been a part of since he went on his first trip in 2006. “On the most recent service trip over winter break, I witnessed current students immerse themselves in service to others; and in doing so, they grew in confidence, awareness, and maturity, which will allow them to embrace future opportunities and meet even greater challenges,” Roland said. Service learning helps students understand the importance of giving back, but it also makes the Hilbert College mission and Franciscan values tangible. For Prof. Roland, witnessing students discover their own potential while making a difference in the world fulfills his own purpose as an educator. “The importance of giving back in educational settings, through ventures like service learning trips, is twofold,” Roland said. “First, it incorporates the mission of Hilbert College and it’s Catholic and Franciscan heritage. Second, it causes students to pause and reflect on their own mission and purpose in life.”

For many of the students, they are inspired to continue giving back to their own communities after returning. “Joy is something that lasts a lifetime,” said Melody. “Getting to see the impact of our projects firsthand encourages me to give back to give back to my own community and other developing countries around the world.” The joy shared between our Hilbert students and the people they helped in Bani is sure to leave a lasting legacy.

"Joy is something that lasts a lifetime."

Pathway to Give Back Your gift to the Hilbert Fund can be designated for study abroad programs. Contact Gayle to learn more | 716-926-8938

hilbert college magazine 2016


where are they now?







Retention Rate


Alumni Giving Rate

Placement Rate - Students with a positive outcome within six months of graduation from HILBERT COLLEGE



Academic Programs




Student to Faculty Ratio

of graduates who are employed are working in NYS


of first-year students would choose HILBERT COLLEGE again if they were starting over


Students from WESTERN NEW YORK


ONE OF THE MOST AFFORDABLE four-year private institutions in WESTERN NEW YORK


of seniors rate their educational experience at HILBERT COLLEGE as good or excellent





$4 million


HILBERT COLLEGE STUDENTS qualify for financial aid hilbert college magazine 2016


scholarship golf tournament


ORCHARD PARK COUNTRY CLUB December 1 | 7:30 PM | Swan Auditorium


Scholarship Golf Tournament JUNE 27, 2016 For More Information 716.926.8938 Space is limited!

Pathway to Give Back Give back to Hilbert and your community through volunteering. Volunteer your time at a Hilbert event -like our annual Scholarship Golf Tournament or True Blue Weekend – or network with and mentor our students through career development programs. There are loads of Hilbert community service projects that need volunteers just like you!

Contact Gayle to Learn More - | 716-926-8938



faculty profile

Giving to Hilbert by Hilbert: Don Vincent's Reflections BY MATTHEW GORCZYCA

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Foundation, Big Dogs Big Hearts, The City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, and Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. Each time, my students and I experience the value of giving back to the community.”

No one embodies this idea more than Dr. Donald Vincent of Hilbert’s Digital Media and Communication program. Vincent had a successful career in commercial radio, but he knew there was more out there for him. He went back to school to study communications, with a dream of being the kind of professor who helped to create the leaders of tomorrow.

Vincent mentioned that while theoretical learning through hypothetical situations is one way to learn, engaging in problem solving for real-world organizations with timely issues allows for substantial experience that is far more valuable. This allows students to see the impact in the community.

Through the Digital Media and Communication program, Vincent finds that students are learning higher-level skills when given the chance to work with state-of-the-art equipment. They’re better equipped for the professional marketplace and more in tune with the constant evolution of the kinds of technology that will shape their futures. Most of the equipment used in the Digital Media and Communication program, as well as other resources throughout all academic programs, is funded through the generosity of donors. As a professor, Vincent understands this better than anyone and has supported the Hilbert Fund annually as his way to give back.

Besides the reward of seeing growth in his students, Vincent notes that the family atmosphere at Hilbert makes it a very special place. He joined in the fall of 2007 after finishing school and teaching as an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo and Genesee Community College. “There are many wonderful aspects about Hilbert College, but the people make it special,” Vincent said. “My colleagues have different backgrounds and perspectives to share, but one attribute they all have in common is kindness. I truly feel like I am part of a family.”

The Hilbert Fund, which raises monies annually to support student scholarships, classroom resources, athletic and student-activity experiences, and countless other initiatives, has helped with the growth of countless Hilbert academic programs, including Digital Media and Communication. “Within the Digital Media and Communication program alone, gifts enable us to maintain our state-of-the-art equipment. Our students are using professional quality equipment that is on the cutting edge.” Vincent also finds that giving back by volunteering at Hilbert is equally fulfilling. Vincent serves as the Faculty Athletics Representative and the Chairperson of Hilbert’s Institutional Review Board, as well as various groups and taskforces that serve the college. By giving back, Vincent feels that he is ultimately helping students fulfill their potential and helping the college achieve its mission. Vincent notes that when giving back makes its way into the classroom, students learn better and really grow as stronger, altruistic individuals. “Each of the Franciscan values plays a role in my job,” said Vincent. “One specific example is the Persuasive Campaigns class I teach.” The class works with a variety of community partners where students act as an integrated marketing firm for community organizations. “Over the years, my students have provided service to many wonderful organizations, like The Juvenile Diabetes Research

The kindness and giving nature of those at Hilbert, from faculty and staff to students, is astounding. Vincent remarks that it is an easy buy-in for faculty and staff to give back to Hilbert because of Hilbert’s small community atmosphere. Whether he is incorporating altruism in the projects he assigns his students, volunteering for a need of the college or simply giving back to assure the best resources and experiences for Hilbert students, Vincent understands the importance and viability of giving back. Only when our students are given the best resources and opportunities to learn to their highest potential does the Hilbert College mission come to realization.

Don Vincent, Ph.D. Professor, Digital Media and Communications Dept.

hilbert college magazine 2016


alumni association



he purpose of the Hilbert College Alumni Association is to advance the interests of the college, to develop and foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the college and its alumni by providing educational opportunities, social programs, services and benefits. The alumni association strives to build ties and relationships among alumni and students at the college, to provide alumni input on college concerns and to link the college of today and tomorrow with its heritage of excellence, commitment, and service.

Are you interested in receiving Hilbert's monthly e-newsletter, HILBERT 365? Subscribe for FREE today and keep up to date on: • Campus Highlights • Upcoming Events • New Alumni Benefits • Athletic Events Contact: Matthew Gorczyca Communications & Engagement Coordinator 716-926-8884 | **Please include your name and any updated contact information in your email!

HILBERTALUMNI Log in to to read additional class notes and to discover the many ways to connect with other alumni and the Hilbert community


Molly Bigaj ’13 (above) married Tom Robbins on October 16.



Katy Dorsheimer ’05 married Andres Manamon in August in Cambria, California.

Alyx Tobolski ’16 (above) married David Clear in August. She recently graduated from the Paralegal Studies program in December.


Crystal Hunt '05 welcomed daughter Emily Theresa Hunt on January 28. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 4 oz. and 21.5 inches.

alumni news & notes

Honors & Recognition Amy Bigaj ’91 has been appointed to the Legal Studies

Evan Laczi ’08 was recently selected for the Department of

Advisory Council for the Paralegal Program at Hilbert

Environmental Conservation Police Academy.

College effective Spring 2016. The Council membership includes legal and business professionals who advise the

John Babocsi ’14 accepted a Baseball Operations position

paralegal program director.

with the Toronto Blue Jays. He will be working in Advance Scouting, preparing on-field game strategy by breaking

Joseph Usinski ’94 was recently promoted to Lieutenant of

down the tendencies of opponents and doing video/data

the Erie County Sheriff's Office Jail Management Division.

research on potential trade targets.

He recently received the 2015 Crime Victim Notification Coordinator of the Year Award.

Lauren Eggleston ’16 recently accepted a full-time position as a Litigation Paralegal at the Brown and Kelly law

Gwen Squire ’96 recently launched her own nonprofit

firm. She graduated from the Legal Studies program in

organization called Outside The Box Advocacy, which aims


to be advocates for adults and children with disabilities. The organization frequently gives disability awareness presentations and trainings. (

PLANT THE SEED 2016 Your gift today can have a major impact on the future of tomorrow’s professionals. Plant the seed of future success by contributing to our annual Spring Giving Campaign. Annual gifts to the Hilbert Fund help secure transformational college experiences for our students. The Hilbert Fund supports scholarships, resource and technology upgrades, and athletic and studen-activity experiences. The Spring 2016 Giving Campaign, Plant the Seed, encourages all alumni, parents and friends of Hilbert College to plant the seed through a monetary gift that will help current students develop as persons and grow as professionals. Nearly 40% of Hilbert students are first-generation college students. When they walk across the stage at graduation, they’ll be the first in their families to earn a college degree. The seed you plant today gives our students better opportunities for their futures. You can make a difference! You can learn more about the Hilbert Fund and the Plant the Seed campaign at or by contacting Gayle Hardick, Director for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, (716) 926-8938 or

hilbert college magazine 2016


young alum

Hilbert is Home Young Alumna Reflects on Why She Gives Back to Hilbert BY MATTHEW GORCZYCA

“Hilbert is its own little community where almost everyone knows each other and to me, it doesn’t get much more ‘homey’ than that.” - Caitlin Queen, Class of 2015. The news is filled with stories of recent college graduates struggling to get out in front of their student loan debt. Skyhigh payments plus an entry-level job isn’t an equation that sets bright, energetic young adults on a path toward success. And yet, according to Blackbaud – a company that creates software specifically for not-for-profit fundraising, millennials are responsible for 11 percent of total giving in the U.S. 60 percent of millennials give back in some way, either monetary or through volunteering. The millennial generation is transforming philanthropy. And the world is taking notice. Despite the obstacles recent graduates face that make it difficult to give back, Caitlin Queen was determined to find a way to give back to Hilbert, her alma mater. She participated in the annual Phon-a-thon in order to repay some of what she received from Hilbert. “Scholarships are such a major part of Hilbert. As a recipient of one, I was thankful that someone was willing to donate to scholarship funds for students,” Caitlin said. Scholarships are crucial to easing the financial burden placed on students and allowing them to focus instead on making the most of the educational opportunities presented. “In my mind, I hope my donation helps students have a wonderful experience at Hilbert, and that by giving back I am helping Hilbert give the same opportunities I had to current students.” Young alumni like Caitlin are leading the charge to ensure Hilbert’s mission and legacy continue and that future students are able to receive a quality education. Thanks in part to the scholarship she received, Caitlin was able to graduate from Hilbert with no student loans. She currently works as a human resources administrator at Blue Bridge Financial, LLC. Caitlin believes that the key to finding continued success in her future is to never settle for complacency. By maintaining a strong 16


relationship with Hilbert College after graduation, she’s giving back to the community that gave her the tools she needed to make a strong start after graduation. “Hilbert is the place that helped me become who I am today. It’s important to remember who has helped you along the way, because you didn’t get that dream job or big promotion without a little help from Hilbert.” With graduates like Caitlin passing the torch of opportunity by giving back to future students, Hilbert’s strong legacy shows no sign of wavering anytime soon. Caitlin’s story is a great example of the benefits of giving back. Even small gifts can go a long way toward building a brighter future. Financial gifts go directly into the Hilbert Fund, which benefits student scholarships, classroom resources and technology, athletics, and student activity programs. When alumni give back, a stronger legacy is developed and value is added to your Hilbert College degree. Did you know that the alumni giving rate helps garner support from foundations and corporate sponsorships? These relationships are key in ensuring that Hilbert College can continue to offer high-quality education that prepares students to build successful lives post-graduation. Please consider giving back to Hilbert College and contributing to the success and legacy of our school.

why alumni giving matters

Why Alumni Giving Matters Each donor makes a difference. Whether it’s $25 or $2,500, each donation goes directly to current student support. And whether you help fund student scholarships or updates to technology, labs, and equipment, your donation will impact the education of Hilbert students.

The alumni giving rate is impacted. The alumni giving rate is the percentage of alumni who give back to their alma mater. It’s a key assessment factor as well as an important influence for other potential donors and sponsors.

You benefit, too! Your gift doesn’t just help current and future students. It adds value to a Hilbert College degree. Hey, don’t you have one of those?

Possibilities become realities. Alumni giving creates the foundation for future success. With over 7,500 alumni, support from that network helps turn possibilities for the future into realities of today.

Pathway to Give Back Are you a young alum interested in learning about all the ways you can give back to Hilbert? Contact Matt to learn more | 716-926-8884

hilbert college magazine 2016


master's alum

Renee Siepierski MPA '13

master's Q & A

Coordinator of Emergency Services | Catholic Charities of Buffalo

Renee Siepierski '13 was a member of Hilbert's first cohort of master's graduates earning a Master of Public Administration degree. During her time at Hilbert she was a Cohort Leader and a member of the Graduate Student Association. Recently, Renee shared some of her memories of her time at Hilbert. Favorite Hilbert Memory: I have hundreds of wonderful memories from Hilbert, but my favorite was our Budapest trip. Having the opportunity to explore what our cohort learned in the classroom in a real world application was rewarding and affirming. Favorite Hilbert Faculty or Staff: I have several! Dr. Iwanenko for always listening to me and letting me cry in his office several times a week. He provided the tough love I needed to get through the program. Mr. Heraty for checking in with me throughout the program and always providing such postitive feedback. And last, but not least, Mr. McNulty. His class was challenging, but our group project was my favorite in all my years of schooling. My Hilbert education prepared me for: Life. Every day I can hear Mr. Heraty and Dr. Iwanenko in the back of my mind reminding me of my emotional intelligence and the importance of "checking in" with myself. This is something that is pivotal in my personal and professional life. My time at Hilbert not only prepared me for more challenging and rewarding experiences in the workplace, but also for bettering my experiences away from work. How has Hilbert helped you in your current career?: It's amazing how often the skills I learned at Hilbert show up in my work. I am often writing grants which ask for logic models, statistics, and frameworks. Since being at Catholic Charities I have been part of nearly $1,000,000 worth of grants received. Pursuing and securing these grants would not have been possible without the skills and practical experience I learned in the MPA program. Renee is a member of the Homeless Alliance of WNY Coalition, and a member of the Operations committee with Bread of Life Ministries in Colden, NY.

Renee Siepierski and Hilbert adjunct Tom McNulty

After an interview on Hilbert adjunct Tom McNulty's radio program, Spotlight on Health, he had this to say about Renee. "Renee's enthusiasm radiates as she talks about her staff and their spirit and support for each other to get through tough and fast-moving days," McNulty said. "She represents Hilbert's MPA program very well and it was obvious she learned systems management, resource organization and deployment, team hospitality, metrics and program promotion. She also represents Catholic Charities very well, because her unselfish and 'all-in' attitude exemplifies the mission of the organization."

Pathway to Give Back Your gift to the Hilbert Fund can be designated for master's programs.

Contact Gayle to Learn More 716-926-8938



bpo holiday pops | photo gallery

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Performs Holiday Pops

hilbert college magazine 2016


athletics news

Men's Basketball's Most Successful Season Ends in Heartbreak With 24 seconds left on the clock in the final game of the season, the Hawks were in the lead for the second time in the game. Pitt-Greensburg struck from behind the arc to take back the lead, with the final score at 76-74. A heartbreaking loss for the Hilbert Hawks in their third consecutive AMCC Championship game. Hilbert ended their most successful season as a Division III team with a 22-5 record. They will graduate five seniors, four of whom contributed to a four-year 84-25 overall record and a 55-17 AMCC record. Hilbert has earned the regular season title twice in the last four years. Sophomore Jalen Smith led in points with 26, many from beyond the three-point line. Senior Jerame Owens commanded the boards, pulling down 20 rebounds and chipping in 16 points. The 6’6” forward added four blocks as he rewrote the Hilbert All-Time Career record book in rebounds, steals, blocked shots, field goals, field goal percentage and games played (tied at 109). Junior Kirkland Ottey added 14 points and shared team-high honors with senior Sean Weisansal with four assists each. Senior Ryan Bradt was a physical force in the paint with eight rebounds, but was limited offensively by a strong zone defense. Bradt had two assists, and the Hawks shooting percentage was below their average. Hilbert struggled to find a rhythm offensively through Greensburg’s tough defensive efforts. The Bobcats picked the ball up before hitting half court, preventing the Hawks from running the lanes and picking up easy scores. Hilbert attacked the Greensburg zone defense with perimeter shots, but sank only 9 of 30 from behind the arc. When the Hawks got the

ball inside the lane, Greensburg collapsed and forced rushed shots or kick-outs. Hilbert forced a pair of tie-scores in the first 20 minutes, but trailed 39-36 at the break. The Hawks shot 30 percent from the floor and an unusual 54.5 percent from the foul line. Smith hit a jumper before Owens converted in the paint for Hilbert’s first lead at 18:33 in the second period. The Bobcats’ Mike Connelly responded with a hit from down town followed by another deep shot, stretching the score to 47-42. Greensburg maintained their two-possession lead the next 16 minutes until Ottey picked Jerell Figueroa’s pocket in one-on-one defense at half court. Ottey was fouled at the rim and made both shots, putting Hilbert up 74-73 with 0:24 remaining. Without hesitation, Greensburg got the ball to Connelly in the right corner for another dagger at 0:19, retaking the lead and ultimately the victory. Rocco Contristano led with 19 points and Figueroa added 18 points. Connelly hit five three-pointers. At the conclusion of the championship game, a six-man All-Tournament team was announced. Figueroa and Contristano from Pitt-Greensburg were named, as well as, Jerame Owens and Jalen Smith from Hilbert. Not in attendance, but also recognized, were Jonathan Belton from Medaille, Eric Matheson from Pitt-Bradford, Andy Niland from Penn St.-Behrend and Andy Abreu from La Roche.

Rogers Earns Second Team Honor; WBB Ties Program Win Record The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference released its 2015-16 women's basketball post-season honors lists, and Hilbert College's Shannon Rogers earned her first honor of her collegiate career. Rogers earned a spot on the Second Team All-Conference after she helped guide the Hawks in a turnaround year. She collected 19 double-doubles and will finish as one of the top-ranked Division III players. Rogers averaged 15.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. She ranked sixth in the league in scoring and first for rebounds per game. Posting 20 games with 20 or more points, she only failed once to reach double digits on the scoreboard. The third-year college student grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds against Medaille College and added 19 rebounds in the January contest. Rogers led the team in minutes per game (33.6) and ranked second on her team for steals and blocked shots. Rogers, after two seasons of competition, is already ranked in



10 different categories for the women's basketball career Top 10 records. The Arcade (Pioneer/Niagara U) native's highest rank is sixth in field goal percentage, free throws attempted, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds. She has scored 689 points and earned 554 rebounds in her career, which put her in seventh place overall. The 2015-16 women's basketball team, under the guidance of first-year head coach, Melissa Graham, tied the program's All Time Division III wins in a season (11-14) and, at 7-11, won the most AMCC games since the college joined the AMCC league in 2004.

Shannon Rogers

athletics news

Owens, Smith and Weisansal Named AMCC All-Conference The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference has named three Hilbert Hawks men’s basketball players to their 2015-16 post season honors list. Senior Jerame Owens headlines the awards for the fourth season in a row after being named the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year. Fellow senior Sean Weisansal and sophomore Jalen Smith were also named to the All-Conference team. The three Hilbert honorees are a large part of the equation that lead the Hawks to their second regular season AMCC title in four seasons. All three posted double-digit scoring averages, but they each bring their own special skills to the court. Owens led the way with 16 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. He was second in the league in field goal percentage, but led the AMCC in steals – which for a 6’6” forward is quite a feat! He collected 11 double-doubles and more than 40 rebounds. His 2.3 steals combined with his 2.4 assists per game made him an intimidating player to other teams. Owens earned his spot on the 2016 AMCC Championship All-Tournament team in his final game. Owens, a Spencerport native, ended his Hilbert career as the Hawks’ all-time leader in field goals, field goal percentage, rebounds, rebound average, blocked shots, steals and steals average. He is the only player to score over 1500 points and grab over 1000 Jerame Owens rebounds (1647 points/1116 rebounds). He has been named to the 1st Team All-Conference the last three seasons. In 2012-13, he was named Newcomer of the Year and earned a spot on the 3rd Team. Weisansal, a shooting guard, scored an impressive 14.1 points per game and lead the team in assists with 4.4 per game. He knocked in 52.2 percent of his field shots and sunk 82 percent of his foul

shots. Weisansal grabbed 4.7 rebounds and had 18 blocks. The 6’3” swingman earned two double-doubles in his career in games against Mt. Aloysius and Pitt-Bradford, but it was the 16 assists against Franciscan University that elevated him to a new Hilbert single-game record on January 30. Hailing from Cheektowaga, Weisansal finished his career with 953 points, 314 rebounds and 250 assists in his three-year tenure on the team. An injury left him benched for most of his freshman year. His career Sean Weisansal field goal average is 49.6 percent. He is ranked in ten different categories on the programs top 10 lists, and landed in third overall in free throw percentage, blocked shots and blocked shot average. Second-year guard Jalen Smith from Batavia returned to the Hawks this year and is already proving to be a high-impact player. His ability to knock down a shot from beyond the arc was problematic for opponents and created offensive options for his team. He was second in the league in three-point shots made with 69, and tenth best in three point shot average. Smith averaged 14.3 points per game and hit double figures in all but six games. Smith is already on the Hawks’ Top 10 career list with 122 three-point shots made. He wrapped up his Jalen Smith season averaging 21 points in the AMCC Championship games and earned a spot on the AllTournament team.

Pathway to Give Back Your gift to the Hilbert Fund can be designated for athletics. Contact Gayle to Learn More | 716-926-8938

hilbert college magazine 2016


franciscan footprints

Students from Hilbert's Franciscanism class, taught by Amy Smith and Marne Griffin, go on a scavenger hunt to find examples of Franciscanism on the Hilbert campus.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Franciscan Day of Caring Two groups of Hilbert faculty and staff (and one student) participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Franciscan Day of Caring for a day of service in the WNY community. One group volunteered at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy and the other spent some time at The Teacher's Desk.



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Profile for Hilbert College

Hilbert College Magazine - Winter/Spring 2016  

In this issue of the Hilbert College Magazine: discover pathways to give back, read about a recent service trip to the Dominican Republic an...

Hilbert College Magazine - Winter/Spring 2016  

In this issue of the Hilbert College Magazine: discover pathways to give back, read about a recent service trip to the Dominican Republic an...